Lukaku Scores Again as Inter Go Seven Points Clear After Genoa Win

In Round 24 of Serie A, Inter were looking to further cement their place at the top of the league standings as they hosted twelfth-placed Genoa at the Stadio San Siro.

The Nerazzurri’s most recent form has been nothing short of sublime, with Antonio Conte’s men unbeaten in Serie A since early January. Genoa, on the other hand, had also yet to taste a defeat from the last seven league matches (four wins, three draws) in what was shaping up to be an exciting Sunday affair.

The game proved to be a one-way traffic performance, with Inter completely dominant throughout the 90 minutes as they marched on to a second consecutive 3-0 win.

Before the game, Inter were questioned by many football experts and pundits whether they can sustain such a form and lead at the top, but all the doubts were almost imminently cleared away within the first minute of the game.

It was an unstoppable duo of Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku who got their names on the match events sheet once again, as Inter took a lead after just 33 seconds. After winning the second ball, Nicolò Barella played a quick direct pass into the path of Martinez, who laid it off to his Belgian teammate as he cut unleashed a powerful low drive into the bottom left corner, leaving Mattia Perin helpless.

A couple of minutes later, the Nerazzurri got forward again as Martinez received a perfect ball from midfield, with the Argentine able to stay onside and looking to play it low across the penalty area to Ivan Perisic. Eventually, the ball was cleared away by one of Genoa’s defenders.

After a highly impressive start to the game, Inter did have a few sloppy moments as they lost the ball twice inside their half following Genoa’s active high press, which resulted in their first conceded shots of the game.

Nevertheless, Inter responded immediately when Barella played a delightful pass into the feet of Lukaku, with the Belgian striker holding the ball up brilliantly and laying it off to Matteo Darmian, who made a deep run into the box, but his shot went agonizingly just past the left post.

Three minutes later, Barella found himself at the heart of the action again as he shifted the ball from the right to his left foot and unleashed a brilliant long-range effort that crashed against a crossbar.

Although Genoa were capable of having short spells of possession, it was ineffective for the most part, as the visitors could not find ways how to break down Inter’s 5-3-2 defensive block. In contrast, the Nerazzurri kept Genoa on their toes every time they went forward, shifting the ball from defence to attack with unbelievable pace and precision.

Inter’s direct and pacey style of play proved to be a danger to the opposition once again, as Barella collected a loose ball deep in their half and played it square to Christian Eriksen. Subsequently, the Dane managed to play an excellent first time pass into space for Lukaku, with the Belgian shaking off the attention of a defender and unleashing a mid-range shot to the middle of the goal which was saved by Perin.

Martinez wrapped off Inter’s solid first-half performance with two more decent attempts at goal, as Inter were getting closer and closer to scoring their second of the game.

The opening minutes of the second half proved to be the prolongation of what we saw during the first 45 minutes. Genoa were simply toothless in possession, knocking the ball around from side to side but unable to get it into dangerous zones.

In contrast, Inter continued threatening the opposition with their attacks, looking to get a crucial second goal which would have easily killed the game off with 30 minutes to play.

At first, Martinez slalomed his way past challenges into Genoa’s penalty area and looked to play the ball across the six-yard box, but his attempt was denied by the goalkeeper. Moments later, Barella ran onto a good long pass and tried his luck from the edge of the box, but the Italian’s effort went high over the crossbar.

Nonetheless, Genoa’s resistance did fell short inevitably when Lukaku made a brilliant individual run down the middle and played an inch-perfect pass to the right for Darmian, who banged the ball into the bottom left corner.

In the 77th minute, a substitute Alexis Sanchez made it 3-0 to the hosts with a nice header inside the left post, as Inter ran away 3-0 winners for the second consecutive match-day.



February 28, 2021 – Serie A 2020-2021 Round 24

SCORERS: 1′ Lukaku, 69′ Darmian, 79′ Sanchez

INTER (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Darmian (84′ D’Ambrosio), Barella (84′ st Vidal), Brozovic (76′ Gagliardini), Eriksen, Perisic (85′ Young); Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez (76′ Sanchez) (Padelli, Radu, Kolarov, Pinamonti, Ranocchia, Vecino) Coach: Conte
GENOA (3-5-2): Perin; Goldaniga, Radovanovic (46′ Onguene), Zapata; Ghiglione (62′ Shomurodov), Melegoni (71′ Portanova), Rovella, Strootman (46′ Behrami), Czyborra; Pjaca, Scamacca (62′ Pandev) (Marchetti, Badelj, Criscito, Destro, Masiello, Zajc, Zappacosta) Coach: Ballardini

REFEREE: Mr. Chiffi from Padua
NOTES: Yellow Cards: Zapata, Strootman (G); Extra Time: 1st Half 1′, 2nd Half 3′